Richard Greaves, Anarchitect - October 6, 2006 through January 28, 2007

Richard Greaves, Anarchitect
“Everything I make here is so I can sleep better.”              
Richard Greaves
Richard Greaves (b. 1952, Montreal) erects cabins that appear to be on the verge of collapse. Like houses of cards, they defy the laws of gravity and approach utopia. Celebrating asymmetry and banishing the right angle, they shatter the norms and principles of construction. These buildings exhibit settling and distortion, both flaws in the eyes of conventional architecture. They tip us into an unreal world and put our senses and our perceptions to the test.

Since 1989, the self-taught Quebec artist Richard Greaves has devoted himself to the creation of a huge architectural environment that is in constant expansion. It is located in Beauce, Quebec. It sprawls out in a forest, on a plot of land that he bought with friends and where he has chosen to live. The environment consists of some twenty or so cabins and shelters made from abandoned barns doomed to demolition or to oblivion. Richard Greaves proceeds in three stages: first he takes them apart, piece by piece; then he takes the various components back to his site; and, finally, he rebuilds them, alone, in his own way, using no measuring instruments and making use of nylon rope. A multitude of sculptures made with the aid of objects gleaned from rubbish dumps are likewise strewn across the plot.

Exceptionally, Richard Greaves provided the Collection de l’Art Brut with an installation created on the spot, located outside the museum, on the south side of the building. The exhibition assembles sundry support materials to enable visitors to penetrate into his delirious universe.

•    a group of photographs by Mario del Curto
•    two films : Les châteaux de planches de Richard Greaves, by Philippe Lespinasse, and Richard Greaves, by Bruno Decharme
•    a background sound track devised by Stéphane Mercier on the basis of sounds recorded at Richard Greaves’ site.

Brought into being by the Société des arts indisciplinés (Montreal), under the administration of Sarah Lombardi and Valérie Rousseau, this travelling exhibition has been presented in Montreal and New York. After its stay at the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, the exhibition will travel back to Quebec and then will be shown in Brussels.

Practical Information


From October 6, 2006 to January 28, 2007
Private view Thursday October 5 2006, 6.5 pm


Sarah Lombardi and Valérie Rousseau

Exhibition catalogue

Roger Cardinal, Richard Greaves, Jean-Louis Lanoux, Sarah Lombardi, Lucienne Peiry and Valérie Rousseau (texts), Mario del Curto (photographs), Richard Greaves. Anarchitecte/Anarchitect, Milan/Montréal, 5 Continents/Société des arts indisciplinés, 2005.

Film / DVD

  • Les châteaux de planches de Richard Greaves, de Philippe Lespinasse, 34 min., Bordeaux, Lokomotiv Films, 2006.

  • Richard Greaves, de Bruno Decharme, 10 min., Paris, abcd, 2005.


The exhibition Richard Greaves, Anarchitect is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.